How Much Should I Pay For A New AC Unit?

ac repair tips

Purchasing a new heating and cooling system for you home can drive you crazy. What Brand? What SEER rating? Heat pump or Straight cool? First things first don’t loose sleep over deciding on your new machine. Buy from someone you like and who works for a company with a good reputation.

What you should look for when selecting your company.

  • Google Reviews, Customer Testimonials, BBB rating. In that order just because a company is A+ on BBB doesn’t mean they’re the right company
  • A technician that knows their stuff and loves the company he or she works for
  • Warranties and Guaranties offered that go above and beyond the manufacturers warranty
  • 24 hour service
  • Offers financing and/or rebates

What To Know When Deciding On SEER rating 

SEER rating stands for seasonal energy efficiency rating. So basically the higher the SEER rating the lower your electric bill will be. Right now the minimum SEER rating is 14. In order to Qualify for most government rebates you will need to install 15 SEER. Anything you purchase that is 16 SEER and up i highly recommend changing your ducts as well. The reason i say that is because often times 16 SEER equipment requires much larger ducts to achieve the efficiency.

What Brand

Brand of equipment isn’t nearly as important as you might think. 90% of your unit’s lifespan is going to depend on Installation and maintenance. If you are really interested in which brands i think are the best please refer to my previous post AC Unit Power Rankings.

How Much

There is no right answer to this question. My company charges between 6 and 10k for an installation price all depends on size, SEER rating, and the company. Whatever you do don’t let friends or family dictate your purchase. When purchasing a heating and cooling system you want it to be your decision don’t let anyone force your hand you will know if you got a good deal or not once the whole experience is over with.

The Purchase 

After you have gathered your estimates, hopefully no more than 2 or 3  PULL THE TRIGGER! Just do it your life is way too important to waste time getting 10 estimates or researching model and serial numbers.

*TIP 

When calling the company you choose tell  the Technician or Manager you are willing to proceed with the work if they can do it for $500 cheaper.

 

 

FREON?

Has Your AC guy ever told you that you need to add Freon to your machine? Did you really need it? Today I will be sharing some info on what you need to know about Freon.

KINDS OF FREON

R-22: The old stuff. If your heating and cooling system was installed before 2009 there is a good chance this is the refrigerant your machine runs on. This
refrigerant is currently being phased out by the EPA due to the fact that when it leaks the gas depletes the ozone. R-22 is  expected to be gone by 2019.

R-410a: The new stuff also known as PURON. All new AC systems since 2010 are manufactured to run on PURON. R-410a does not contain bromine or chlorine which causes ozone depletion This refrigerant also allows for a higher SEER rating on your air conditioning and heating system.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I ADD FREON

The answer to this question is simple…..NEVER. Your heating and cooling system is a sealed circuit. The condensing unit outside pumps the Freon as a liquid to Your air handler where the evaporator coils change it from liquid to gas. The gas then proceeds back to the condensing unit where the condensing coils change the FREON back to liquid. If your AC guy tells you that you need to add FREON ask him why. There are two reasons you will be low either someone let it out or most likely you have a LEAK. Don’t let your AC company charge you for FREON every year without finding out if or why you actually need it!

Target PSI

*Pressures may vary up to 5 psi higher or lower due to outside temperature

R-22:           200 over 75

R-410a:     300 over 125

 

NEST Thermostat

My NEST thermostat

After doing research and talking to my customers that experienced having the NEST thermostat in their homes I decided to pull the trigger and purchase one. Its’s been three months since installation and each month as it has studied my wife and I’s habits the NEST dropped our electric bill a minimum of $12 per month ! The NEST smart thermostat connects to WiFi and pairs with my phone so i can set it to cool the home to my desired temperature before I arrive home. Below are some of the capabilities as well as a link to get the NEST and I did all the price shopping for you. The thermostat comes with a very user friendly installation guide that will take less than 10 minutes even if you’re a new DIY er. Take my word for it this thermostat is absolutely worth every penny I see it paying for it self within a year

  • WiFi capable
  • Pairs with cell phone
  • Programmable scheduling
  • Motion and sound sensors built in
  • Provides energy usage reports monthly
  • Learns residents habits to tweak schedule for additional savings
  • Tells you how long your AC should take to cool or heat the home to desired temperature

*Rebates

Some energy companies send you an instant $100 rebate. And many offer traditional mail-in rebates. Check with your local energy provider.

HVAC Diaries

AC Unit Power Rankings

Being in the field servicing commercial and residential AC units I know which brands are Reliable and which ones are Junk. Below I am going to list the top five brands from best to worst with pros and cons for each.

  1. Carrier/Bryant- Pros: Quiet, parts are the most readily available, easy  to service , great price point

    Cons: Blower motors tend to go out under warranty period… not many cons for these machines

  2. Trane/American Standard- Pros: Tried and true, compressors never die, very efficient air conditioning and heating systems, some of the most sleek designs

    Cons: Very high price point for equipment and replacement parts,

  3. Rheem/Ruud- Pros: All around good machines, smaller equipment to fit in tight attics or closets, good price point

    Cons: Not as easy to service as others, not as quiet as the two listed above

  4. York- Pros: Very stylistic in design, compressor comes stock with sound blanket, very efficient units available

    Cons: High price point, coils tend to rust out and leak during warranty period

  5. Goodman/Amana:  Pros: Lifetime compressor warranty,

    Cons: class action lawsuit open for faulty evaporator coils, very loud condensing unit, air handlers are the largest out of all brands

 

JUNK: Lennox, Tempstar, Nordyne, Heil, Payne, Coleman, Maytag,